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THURSDAY

March 19, 1998             SECTION ONE              vol 9, no. 56



SAINT JOSEPH: THE SILENT ASSASSIN!

     Today is an oasis in the desert we call Lent for it is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. Not everyone is familiar with all the titles attributed to this wondrous saint and so we use today's editorial to help inform the reader of his many attributes and honors and how he can help everyone for this quiet saint, this gentle giant of grace can affectionately be called the "Silent Assassin." For why we call it that, click on today's CATHOLIC PewPOINT

The "Silent Assassin!"

     This is truly a joyful day - an oasis in the midst of Lenten sacrifice, fasting and penance - for it is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph when the priests put away the purple or violet vestments for a day and bring out the lily-white ones to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Few saints are so misunderstood and not given his proper place in the lives of the faithful as good St. Joseph. Like his loving and chaste spouse the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph has many titles. First of all he is remembered mostly as the "Foster Father of Jesus" and the "Protector of Mary." He is also known as "Model of Christian Workers" and "Patron of Social Justice" but for those he has his own special feast declared by Pope Pius XII in 1955: May 1st. Today we concentrate on the day at hand and the many titles attributed to this wondrous man. One title many don't give him credit for is "Patron of the Universal Church" for Joseph is the one we call on to protect God's Holy Church just as he protected the Holy Family, obediently stealing away in the dead of the night to flee the fast-approaching soldiers of Herod. Joseph was the "Model of Righteousness" for he could easily have walked away from his betrothal to Mary once he heard she was with child. Though the stigma of pregnancy outside marriage is nothing today, in fact, sadly encouraged by society, in Joseph's time and Jewish customs this was paramount to stoning the woman. But Joseph was righteous in the most holy sense and chose, after God sent His angel, to follow through with his promise to his bride-to-be and did everything in his power to protect her and her reputation. How many men would do that today? Furthermore, how many men would do that when coming to the realization that, though they might marry, would never consummate their vows in the marriage bed, but remain forever chaste in obedience to God's Holy Will? We doubt there are a handful today. That was the caliber of man Joseph was. As the "Model of Single Men and Married Men" Joseph's example should be imitated by more, not necessarily celibate if married, but gentle and loving with no roving eye toward another; for the single man, saving himself for the right woman whom God would place in his life. Joseph is the "Guardian of Virgins" and virgins mean both unmarried men and women.

     Many, many in the public limelight today could take a severe lesson from Joseph's virtues, in particular those who stand as "role models" for our youth, such men as Bill Clinton comes immediately to mind. The travesty of the immoral escapades of this man who holds the highest office in the land is an aberation to God and to Joseph, and should be the same for every American. But sadly, the "in thing" is to wink, and spout the pc line, "what's the harm if it doesn't hurt anybody" or "who cares what he does in his private life, as long as the economy is good." How low we have sunk as a nation, a country dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. Even though slick Willy denies it with one lie after another, he exudes a cocky flamboyance that flaunts the possibilities. Believe it or not, folks, he loves the attention to his sexual prowess as if he were still a college stud sowing his oats. That is truly sad in the face of younger generations struggling with the moral compass that has seemed to go askew in today's society and mores. That is why it is so important to lean on Joseph, the "Protector of children and teens" for his fatherly love provided the sturdy mast of the Holy Family's ship, while Mary provided the sails that billowed in holiness day in and day out. With so many teens in trouble or troubled, parents and friends need to turn to Joseph as "Solace of the Afflicted" and "Comforter of the Troubled" for he can sustain them in their many trials and temptations if only they ask. Remember, Joseph is also considered "Rescuer of Sinners" which includes everyone of us. Call on him for he is the "Safeguard of Families," God's chosen guardian for His Only-begotten Son and His Blessed Mother who the Almighty has given to us as protector of all Christian homes.

      For those ill with something, remember Joseph is the foster father of the Divine Physician, so he should know a thing or two about sustaining the sick and obtaining relief for anyone who is sick and calls on his care for Joseph is the "Hope of the Sick." Joseph was not a wealthy man, he made his living by the sweat of his brow through carpentry work, providing what he could for his family and the family accepted everything gratefully, sharing with others when needed. That is another reason Joseph is also known as "Consolation of the Poor" for he not only provided for the needs of Jesus and Mary, but others as well, and continues today to help the needy of the entire world if they but call on him. Few realize Joseph is also known as "Patron of Priests and Seminarians" for he was the foster father of Jesus, the First Priest Who was also the Priest-Victim. His virtues of chastity, obedience, poverty, prudence, - the list goes on - are the ideal for every man of the cloth or preparing to take vows. If only more priests and to-be-priests relied on exemplifying Joseph's attributes, the world and our Church would be that much better. Finally, the one title so many devote to Joseph is "Patron of a Happy Death" for he died in the arms of Mary and Jesus the young Man. Holy Mother Church has for centuries entreated us to call on him for intercession for the dying, when we take our last breath. Who better to be standing at our bedside than the good, holy Joseph who silently will extend his firm hand to guide us to the Heavenly portals if we but exemplify his virtues.

     One of the best prayers, ejaculations the Church calls them, is the short but effective "Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you. Save souls." So short, and yet so powerful. While Mary was the Heart of the Holy Family, Joseph was the Head and Jesus, the Body. All members worked in unison. By the example of the Holy Family we can go to school on how they did it in striving to bring harmony into our own families; not easy in today's modernistic culture. But by calling on them often, we can better equate our own hardships to the Holy Family's travails and offer them up in order to gain rewarding graces from above. With all the titles good Saint Joseph has been given, we doubt anyone has been left off his "care list." On his wonderful feast day we can come to the conclusion that good St. Joseph is all things to all men and by following the example of this silent giant we can eradicate sin in our lives and bring grace alive through the example of this holy, fatherly saint whose intercession is attributed to killing vice with the swift sword of virtue. And why not? Afterall, he's the "Silent Assassin!"

Michael Cain, editor

The Solemnity of Saint Joseph

     In today's liturgy we bring you the story of Saint Joseph whose glorious feast we celebrate, along with the readings and meditations for this occasion and the liturgy for tomorrow's Lenten weekday. Click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

THURSDAY, March 19, 1998

SAINT JOSEPH, FOSTER FATHER OF JESUS, PROTECTOR OF MARY

      So much has been said about this very special, holy, pure and quiet saint...and yet, so little is really known about Saint Joseph. No one can pinpoint the exact year he died, but we do know he died a happy, peaceful death richly deserved because of his obedience to the Will of God in being the earthly guardian of God's Own Son and the Immaculate Mother Mary through whom He chose to fulfill the Act of Redemption. Saint Joseph is the saint most often invoked for the grace of a happy death and the assurance that Jesus is spiritually present at that time with every dying soul. While Mary was the heart of the Holy Family, Joseph was the head, yet always submitting to a higher Power in all things...from accepting Mary's virgin birth as truly from God to rallying the family in the cold of the night to flee from Herod's wrath into a land he knew nothing about, only that God would not abandon him or those he was charged to protect. Every virtue can be attributed to this saint who bridged the Old Law, born into the royal family of David's lineage, and the New Law and guided to maturity his foster Son Jesus Christ, our Savior. Because of his role in protecting the Holy Family he has been designated Protector of Holy Mother Church as well. Yet, it is surprising to discover that this pivotal saint was not really recognized until the fourth century and then that veneration was in the Eastern Church because of the apocryphal History of Joseph. In the Western Church only in the ninth century was there first any mention of Joseph and that was in Irish circles. It wasn't until the fifteenth century that Joseph began receiving widespread veneration in the West when his feast was introduced into the Roman Calendar in the year 1479. It took two great saints to promote his cause for universal appeal - that of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Francis de Sales, both doctors of the Church. This recognition finally came in 1870 when Pope Pius IX declared him Patron of the Universal Church. More honors were extended to Joseph in 1889 when Pope Leo XIII made Joseph the model for all fathers in his encyclical Quanquam pluries in which he confirmed "that his pre-eminent sanctity places him next to the Blessed Virgin among the saints." Other recent Popes have also extended special titles on Joseph, among them "Protector of the worker" by Pope Benedict XV, "Patron of Social Justice" by Pope Pius XI and an additional feast day was added in 1955 by Pope Pius XII - May 1 to observe the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker.

FRIDAY, March 20, 1998


The correlation of private revelation with public revelation

      Continuing our on-going feature mega series on the Church today, we bring you the sixty-second installment with the fourth segment on the topic of Saint John Bosco's dream vision he received well over a century ago. Today we examine the time frame and the credibility of private revelation. If it passes the test, then we can be assured all the Blessed Mother has foretold will come to pass and within the next year or so. The time is now. As a side bar, Saint Joseph is brought into the picture as a possible link to all this. Click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?

Wake-up Call to all Catholics the thirty-first clarion

installment sixty-two

Beware of False Prophets in the American Church - part twenty-two: Living the Vision - discerning when!
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says the Lord, that I will pour forth My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams. And moreover upon My servants and upon My handmaids in those days will I pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."

Isaiah 44: 3, Acts 2: 17
      In the last installment two weeks ago, we determined through deduction and events, that the prophecy of the dream imparted to Saint John Bosco in 1862 has to refer to our current times, not the end of the nineteenth century, but rather the twentieth - the end of the millennium. We also deducted that the messages to Father Don Stefani Gobbi have credibility, thus deducting that what the Blessed Mother said regarding the next ten years in September 1988 and that her Immaculate Heart would triumph before the millennium has to be taken seriously, very seriously, especially in light of most everything God has foretold in Sacred Scripture and through His special emissary - His Mother - has come to pass. The messages to John Bosco also correspond with the messages of Garabandal, Akita, Betania, Medjugorje and countless other sites, not to mention countless messengers who have received this same theme on every inhabited continent of the earth. If we can agree that these facts are true, then the syllogism equates to the next year and a half as the fulfillment of these prophecies.

     Though most are prophecies given in private revelation, much as been revealed in public revelation as well. What's more important, most of the private revelation strongly supports public revelation - that Divinely revealed in Sacred Scripture and the Dogmas, Doctrines and Teachings of Holy Mother Church. That is a key point to all this for these messengers, chosen by God Almighty, are not soothsayers, not fortune tellers, not quick-buck scam artists out to captilize on the doom and gloom phenomenon of these times, not scatological scaliwags, but rather chosen vehicles to convey the Triune Divinity's Will in God's Master Plan for His children. What person in their right mind would want to be a prophet, subject themselves to ridicule and public scrutiny and be called a "whacko" because they "hear" messages? Not many are that kind of glutton for punishment. No, we strongly feel they accepted their gift of prophecy, their mission, in total compliance with God's Holy Will and call upon Him every second of the day to steer them in the right direction. Some of the "accusers" in the Church, not the Church itself, but members of the Church, have professed that a great majority of these messengers are false. Now there are a few who have been censored by the Magisterium because something in one or more messages contains contradictions to public revelation, but, believe it or not, those are far and between the majority. What then do these "accusers" base their claims on that the majority of visionaries and locutionists are false? The answer is their opinion, plain and simple, for none can find anything concrete that contradicts Sacred Scripture or matters of faith and morals! The fact of the matter is the majority support and enrich Divine Revelation, adding further insight and discernment to what was intended. How can we state this emphatically? Because if the "accusers" were right that the majority of these modern prophets were wrong, do you think the Church would allow it to continue. Not on your life. Take a look at Church history and when anything cropped up, any kind of heresy or concept contrary to Church Doctrine and Sacred Scripture, the Church was quick to put a halt on it with some sort of formal announcement or document by either the Pope himself or a local bishop. This has happened very rarely in these last several decades. Why? We believe because the prophets of today are truly hearing from God as we asserted above, and secondly, it is a fulfillment of Isaiah 44: 3, and Acts 2: 17 foretold by the prophet Joel, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says the Lord, that I will pour forth My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams. And moreover upon My servants and upon My handmaids in those days will I pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."

     With that understanding, we can better relate to the meaning of John Bosco's vision, and the messages imparted to him as well as other messages to other "prophets" pertaining to the same events. In his book Tragedy and Triumph, the author Father Georges de Jesus gives us an inkling of what the vision and messages purport. One prophecy to John Bosco says, "Iniquity is consummated: sin has come to an end and, before the two full moons of the month of the flowers have passed, the rainbow of peace will appear over the earth." Fr. Georges calculates that the next "two full moons of the month of flowers" will occur in 1999 and that month is March. That is the only period of "two full moons" until the millennium. So then how does the "month of flowers" compute? Many would think this is either April or May, but in truth March is the month of flowers for the apex of this month is the solemnity of none other than Saint Joseph whose feast we celebrate today! The silent saint is most always depicted holding the beautiful lilies - flowers symbolizing purity, cleansing. What more perfect occasion than his feast day for the world to be cleansed and "the rainbow of peace to appear over the earth."? If this sounds far-fetched, consider the prophecy given to the visionaries of Garabandal who we have been covering during Lent in our megaseries THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS. We have been told about the Warning - the illumination of our soul when everyone will see themselves exactly as God does. Many had thought it would have happened by now, and because it hasn't, they have dismissed it as fantasy. Don't be deceived, it will come and soon. When? We can't purport to predict because that is not important as to the exact date, only to know that it is imminent. Along with the messages to the Garabandal visionaries about this Warning which will be a true expression of God's Infinite Mercy (for He is giving all a "second chance," a dress rehearsal, if you will, for the Final Judgment) there is the gift of anohter phenomenon promised by Our Lady. That promise is the Miracle which will be seen by all - beginning at the Pines above the village of Garabandal and then spreading to the entire world. What it will be exactly only a few know such as Padre Pio and a Jesuit priest close to the visionaries by the name of Father Luis Andrea who exclaimed "Milagro! Milagro!" upon seeing this vision of the Miracle. Both have since passed on to their Heavenly reward, but we do know it will be miraculous and be seen throughout the world. Could it be "the rainbow of peace?" That, too, is not so far-fetched when one considers Garabandal visionary Conchita Gonzales Keena's assurance from Our Lady that it will occur in either March, April, or May and between the thirteenth and sixteenth, though some reports indicate up to the twentieth of the month. It will be on the feast of a "little-known martyr of the Eucharist" and on a Thursday. There is much conjecture on which saint this might be. Some refer to Saint Justin the Martyr whose feast in the old calendar is on March 16th. That would fit in with the time frame Conchita has expressed. Others point to Saint Hermenegild, another martyr whose feast is on April 13th or Saint Tibertius the next day who was the brother of Saint Cecilia's husband Valerian, or in May Saint Boniface on the 14th. All were martyrs, but were they "martyrs of the Eucharist?" We don't really know. Here's another consideration that has some credence. While St. Joseph is well-known, few realize he is a Eucharistic saint, having nurtured the Living Eucharist for around twenty years. So little is known of Joseph that everything else is pure conjecture, but as more and more is revealed through private revelation it just might be possible that Joseph be considered a Eucharistic martyr because, though he died a happy death, he gave every breath of his life for his foster Son - the Living Eucharist - and his cherished spouse - the Tabernacle of the Living Eucharist - the Blessed Virgin Mary.

     While the above tie-in with Saint Joseph is purely conjecture on our part and falls on Friday next year, not Thursday as it does this year, it does give one food for thought. Consider what saint is more associated with peace and serenity than St. Joseph? Wouldn't it seem to fit God's Master Plan that this promised Era of Peace begin with His beloved and loyal Joseph, so faithful to God's Holy Will? It is possible and plausible as well. One further take on John Bosco's words about "before the two full moons of the month of flowers have passed" means the second moon is likely to occur on or around the 19th of the month - St. Joseph's feast day. With that in mind, could we then be looking at one year from today? If that is the case, we all have much work to accomplish before then; to quote the poet Robert Frost, "...miles to go before I sleep." That's appropriate for few will be able to sleep if everything prophecied before the New Advent - the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - occurs.

     In the next installment we will treat this "crunch time" and some of the quotes from St. John Bosco reinforcing this.

To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.


The Trial

     In Lesson 8 THE TRIAL OF THE SANHEDRIN our Heavenly Mother further affirms these times and reinforces the importance of the Final Dogma which will signal the beginning of the transformation from our present era to the promised new Era of Peace. None of this could have been possible without Mary's Divine Son willingly humbling Himself and submitting to the Sanhedrin which He knew would condemn Him to death. In the first part of Lesson 8, Our Lady gives the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart a vivid vision of Christ's trial as we continue this special daily series during Lent. Click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"

Meditative Lesson 8:

THE TRIAL OF THE SANHEDRIN

part one

      Dear Father, Our Heavenly Mother says here that in the moment when, by Godís Mercy, we shall each see ourselves as we are seen by God; that is, when we stand before the Truth, then shall all men known that Mary is the Immaculate Conception, Co-Redemptrix, our Advocate, the New Eve and Mediatrix of all graces, as God willed and allowed it to be through His Only-Begotten Sonís Redemptive Act. This, She tells me, shall happen before the Justice of God strikes, but not until the world has suffered through many chastisements. But we are close to this moment, Father. Our Lady says that by our devotion to Jesusí passion we will be ready for the illumination of our souls, and all that will then swiftly follow. Having tested the voice, I proceed to write.

"Oh God, the wicked are risen up against me and the assembly of the mighty have sought my soul; and they have not set thee before my eyes."

Psalms 85: 14

     I see Jesus tied by the hands and around the waist as one might do to a wild, insane person. He stands meekly in the center of a large room, and already the maltreatment He has received shows plainly. He has been brutally slapped, for His lips are swollen and blood trickles down into His beard. There is a large bruise beneath His left eye and the flesh is swollen. Also His nose bleeds and I wonder if it is broken. But Our Lord utters not one sound, while I become aware of noise all around: the scuffling of feet, the murmur of voices, the rustling of roves and mantles.

      I am in the court of Annas and Caiphas; the trial before the Sanhedrin. There are many, many nobles of the Temple present. The torches along the wall light the room but make elongated, grotesque shadows of all those present.

      I move in a full circle and see nearly every place filled. But several are empty, the places of those who will have no part in this unjust trial under Mosaic Law.

      But everyone in attendance is watching Jesus with rabid attention. They nearly salivate at the thought that this "man," this Nazarene is finally theirs and will soon be dead, buried and forgotten.

      All reason has left them. It shows in their eyes, upon their open, snarling lips.

      It is as if time stands still. All movement for me is suspended. While I long to gaze at my suffering Jesus, I must turn. Now I see the High Priest, Caiphas. He is rotund, pompous in attire and posture. His fleshy face and eyes are glaring at Jesus. The arteries in his thick neck pulsate with blood and he is shaking with a rage which he can no longer hold in check. As I look at Annas and the others, I see through the eyes of my soul the glare of the evil one in each face. Sanity has fled. Human emotion, human passion in all its baseness is here and the malevolence is palpable. It tries to push me back, to bend me in half, to rip me apart. But silently I cry out "Jesus" and the force withdraws.

      At this moment Caiphas literally rips apart the expensive, highly-decorated robe he wears as High Priest and in a voice that rises to near-scream he shouts to all assembled:

      `"He has blasphemed!" A moment of silence, as Caiphas dares to take several steps closer to the Messiah, the Lamb of God. He would spit upon Jesus, but rather, turns mockingly to all the scribes and elders and asks in a ridiculous voice: "What further need have we of witnesses?

      A voice, then two, three - and all: "He is liable to death!"

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 8: THE TRIAL BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN



Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.


March 19, 1998 volume 9, no. 56         DAILY CATHOLIC